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A best-selling 15th century work of fiction was The Tale of the Two Lovers, an erotic novel by the man who later became Pope Pius II.

In 1967, Picoaz, Ecuador, elected a brand of foot deodorant as the town’s mayor.

The word ‘fun’ does not appear in the King James Bible.

At least 109 journeys between adjacent London Underground stations are quicker to walk.

Apostasy, the abandonment of religion, is a capital offence in Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Conversations: Doing Good for God

What about all of the good things people have done in the name of God? It is undeniable that many people of faith make heroic sacrifices to relieve the suffering of other human beings.

You’re right. But is it necessary to believe anything on insufficient evidence in order to behave this way? If compassion were really dependent upon religious dogmatism, how could we explain the work of secular doctors in the most war-ravaged regions of the developing world? Many doctors are moved simply to alleviate human suffering, without any thought of God. Continue reading

World History with the Pope

Scene 1. “Atheism has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice.” says the pope, quite emphatically.

Scene 2. “We will spread rational inquiry by the sword!” thus shouts an angry broadsword-wielding crusader on the burning field of battle, his devout chest adorned by the Darwin adaptation of the Ichtus fish.

Scene 3. “Denounce Creation Theory and you will die quickly.” grins a pointy-hooded sinister figure in the shadows, wielding the controls to a breaking wheel on which a spreadeagled naked man is barely coping with the blinding pain of his torture.

Scene 4. “Of course slavery is justified: we live in an amoral, godless universe!” thus yells a proud Confederate soldier, his eyes bulging with anger and indignation at the impertinent question that was directed at him.

Scene 5. “Praise Richard Dawkins!” hail the atheists who are about to crash a hijacked commercial jet into a tall New York skyscraper.

Scene 6. “Let’s read Nietzsche and cuddle.” says a sweaty elderly priest, trying to comfort an underaged boy with an embrace.

Adapted from a comic by Matt Bors (2007, December 12) “World History with the Pope” distributed by UFS. Inc.

Christmas and Mithras

Christmas is celebrated on 25 December because it is the birthday of the Roman sun god Mithras, whose stories bear a striking resemblance to the basic mythology of Christianity. Characteristics of the Mithras cult included:

  • Mithras being a saviour sent to Earth to live a mortal whom it was possible for sinners to be reborn into immortal life.
  • He died for human sins but came back the following Sunday.
  • He was born of a virgin on 25 December in a manger (or perhaps a cave), attended by shepherds and became known as the light of the world.
  • He had 12 disciples whom he shared a last meal before dying.
  • His devotees symbolically consume the flesh and blood of him.
  • Because he was a sun god he was worshipped on Sundays.
  • He is often depicted with a halo around his head.
  • Worshippers of Mithras gave each other gifts on 25 December.
  • The leader of the religion was called a “Papa”, and their headquarters was Vatican Hill in Rome.

As for December 25 being Jesus’ birthday, no-one is certain on what date Jesus was born – that is, should he indeed have existed. According to Islam, Jesus was born in the summer, while Jehovah’s Witnesses claim he born on the 1st of October. Speaking of which, according to the Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain, the Jehovah’s Witnesses must be right since presumably they were there.

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? ” ― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

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Berliner Luft is a dessert cream, liqueur, and canned air – a famous Berlin souvenir – a small can filled with air supposedly from the German capital.

Camels store fat in their humps, not water.

One day on the Moon is 29 1/2 Earth days. This rotation coincides perfectly with its rotation around the Earth so that we always only see one side of the Moon.

On 11 February 2013, confirmed Pope Benedict XVI would resign the papacy on 28 February 2013 as a result of his advanced age, becoming the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415. The move was considered unexpected. In modern times, all popes have stayed in office until death. Not only that, Benedict will be the first Pope to have resigned voluntarily since Pope Celestine V in 1294.

In the Eon Production James Bond films, the third actress to play Miss Moneypenny was called Samantha Bond.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Saeculum Obscurum‏

The Saeculum Obscurum of the Papacy is a name given to a period in the history of the Papacy during the first half of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964.

English: Portrait of Pope Sergius III in the B...

Pope Sergius III reigned from 904 to 911.

As a matter of fact, the dark ages of the papacy are also known as the pornocracy, the time politicking popes were mainly governed by local noblemen and prostitutes.

Sergius III is arguably the best example of the unbridled debauchery of the pornocracy. He was possibly the only pope known to have ordered the murder of another pope, namely Pope Leo V and his anti-pope Christopher, and probably the only pope to father an illegitimate son who later became pope and assumed the name John XI.